Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
From Elegies: Book II. Elegia XV.
By Ovid (43 B.C.–18 A.D.)
 
(Translated by Christopher Marlowe)

Ad annulum, quem dono amicæ dedit.

THOU ring that shalt my fair girl’s finger bind,
Wherein is seen the giver’s loving mind:
Be welcome to her, gladly let her take thee,
And, her small joints encircling, round hoop make thee.
Fit her so well, as she is fit for me,        5
And of just compass for her knuckles be.
Blest ring, thou in my mistress’ hand shall lie,
Myself, poor wretch, mine own gifts now envỳ.
O would that suddenly into my gift,
I could myself by secret magic shift!        10
Then would I wish thee touch my mistress’ pap,
And hide thy left hand underneath her lap,
I would get off, though strait and sticking fast,
And in her bosom strangely fall at last.
Then I, that I may seal her privy leaves,        15
Lest to the wax the hold-fast dry gem cleaves,
Would first my beauteous wench’s moist lips touch;
Only I’ll sign naught that may grieve me much.
I would not out, might I in one place hit:
But in less compass her small fingers knit.        20
My life! that I will shame thee never fear,
Or be a load thou should’st refuse to bear.
Wear me, when warmest showers thy members wash,
And through the gem let thy lost waters pash,
But seeing thee, I think my thing will swell,        25
And even the ring perform a man’s part well.
Vain things why wish I? go small gift, from hand;
Let her my faith, with thee given, understand.
 
 
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